A young entrepreneur whose work has been applauded by Burnley’s “Bank of Dave” businessman Dave Fishwick is leading the way in a new charity challenge.
Oliver Connell, 12, from Blackburn, has accelerated to the top of the leader board in Derian House Children’s Hospice Junior £50 Challenge – and doesn’t planning on slowing down any time soon!
The car-mad youngster has ploughed his efforts into buying and selling models of supercars and has so far made a whopping £600 for the charity.
He is one of dozens of young people who have signed up to the charity’s brand new fundraiser, which gives people £50 and asks them to turn it into as much as they can.
The cash will go towards running the Chorley-based hospice, which looks after more than 400 babies, children and young people with life-limiting illnesses from across the North West every year.
Oliver’s business acumen attracted the attention of Bank of Dave star Dave Fishwick when he shared the youngster’s campaign video on his social media.
Blackburn Rovers Football Club have offered their support too, inviting him to the ground, with goalkeeper Aynsley Pears donating £25 to Oliver’s fundraising total.
Oliver is the only bright spark competing solo and is up against four school groups – but despite this, is at the top of the leader board.
The St Wilfrid’s, Blackburn, pupil said: “I’m going to give this challenge all I’ve got – I want to make as much money as possible for Derian House.
“With some of the £50, I bought two new supercar models and I’m going to sell them to buy larger scale models to sell and make even more profit for Derian House.
“Last year I started a collectible supercar model business with my friends – called JOB SuperCars. But the business is taking a back seat while I focus on the £50 challenge.”
Oliver hopes to one day own an automobile collection rivalling supercar kingpin Tom Hartley, who also began his own business aged just 12.
“I have lot of other ideas too – including a raffle. I also bought some buckets and sponges and I’m going to start offering car washes to friends and family.” Said Oliver. “If I did 100 car washes and everybody donated £5, that’s £500 already.”
When asked how he felt about being the only individual competing against school groups, Oliver said: “I don’t mind, I like working alone. Plus, I think I will be able to beat them better that way.
“I just want to help children and young people with life-limiting illnesses. I am going to work my hardest for Derian House – and hopefully win the challenge!”
Oliver is also a regular attendee of Supercar Showtime, the exclusive event that showcases the UK’s greatest supercars to raise money for Derian House Children’s Hospice. There, he was able to see his favourite supercar – a McLaren.
Oliver’s Dad Andy said: “Oliver is fantastic – you can tell he loves it the entrepreneurial side of it. He has the ambition and I just help him where I can. I just know he’s going to put his all into this challenge.”
The ‘£50 Junior Challenge’ runs from March until June, alongside Derian’s equivalent for grown-ups that will see businesses across the North West compete to raise as much money as they can for Derian House.
Ann-Marie Fishwick, Community Fundraiser at Derian House, said: “Oliver is an incredible young person who is already steering his way to the top of the leader board – we wish him the best of luck!
“It will cost us £6 million to run services at Derian House in 2023. We rely on the generosity of our kind-hearted supporters – just like Oliver – for 70p in every £1, receiving just under 30% of our funding from the government.”
There is still time to take part! To find out more, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in the form online.
Derian House, based in Chorley, cares for more than 400 babies, children, young people and their families from across the North West and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
You can sponsor Oliver’s challenge by donating to his JustGiving page here.